Taupō district social services hub Waiora House to rise again
The Taupō district’s much-loved social services hub, Waiora House, is set to make a reappearance on its iconic Spa Road site.
The new Waiora House, which will be owned by Taupō District Council but operated by Waiora Community Trust, will be a purpose-built, safe and welcoming building that will support the needs of the social sector for many years to come.
Previously located in the former Taupō Maternity Hospital, it housed a variety of not-for-profit organisations and was highly valued by the community. It was demolished in 2019 after asbestos was discovered and since then, planning has been underway for a replacement building.
The new Waiora House has been designed to be flexible to allow people and agencies to work together in a connected and collaborative way. In addition, there will be public and private meeting spaces for community use.
Waiora Community Trust deputy chairman Chris Johnston is on the steering committee overseeing the project and said it was exciting to see the new building about to start.
“For the past 34 years Waiora Community Trust’s management of Waiora House has allowed the social sector to have a safe, affordable hub for up to 22 entities, providing essential social services to our community,” Mr Johnston said. “The new building with its modern efficient layout will ensure these organisations can continue to operate in the most effective and collaborative manner.”
Taupō District Mayor David Trewavas said Waiora House is an integral part of the community and its services have never been more in demand, with pressure on the social sector increasing.
“The pandemic and other factors such as the housing shortage have made life considerably harder for a sizeable, but often overlooked, number of people in our district,” Mr Trewavas said.
“For years, Waiora House was the place they went to for help and advice. Council is committed to rebuilding it so that our district will have a social services hub once more. It’s also an exciting opportunity to create a flagship community centre for our district.”
The building contract has been awarded to locally-owned and operated company RBS Group Limited who plan to begin work on the site next month. The building is expected to be complete by late April 2023.
The amount originally budgeted for the rebuild was $5.9 million but that has risen by another $1.8 million due to the soaring cost of construction materials and supply issues since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shown below: An Architects’ image of how the new Waiora House main building will look.